RACING NEWS

2014 WTCC: Morbidelli ends Citroen winning streak in Hungary

2014 WTCC: Morbidelli ends Citroen winning streak in Hungary image

Text: VJ Bacungan / Photos: FIA WTCC Press | posted May 13, 2014 14:07

C-Elysee drivers still leaders in championship leaderboard

Since the start of the season, a Citroen C-Elysee has always been in the lead at the 2014 World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).

But a race car wearing a bowtie broke, for the first time, the French car’s dominance in Race 2 of the WTCC at the Hungaoring in Hungary, with Italian Gianni Morbidelli scoring his first-ever win in the series behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Cruze.

The weight-laden Citroens hampered Muller, Lopez and Loeb, with them ending in 5th, 6th and 9th, respectively. Meanwhile, Honda’s Tiago Monteiro got 2nd and Chevrolet’s Hugo Valente got 3rd.

“My victory may have looked easy from the outside, but I can tell you it wasn’t. After my brake issues yesterday in practice, I never thought to be able to win here. I half expected to see the Citroën cars arrive in my rear-view mirrors at some point, but they didn’t. I would like to dedicate this victory to the Münnich Motorsport team, as they have worked very, very hard to get where we are today,” Morbidelli said.

The weekend started with Citroen leading at the end of the qualifying session, with Yvan Muller taking the top spot, followed by Jose Maria Lopez and Sebastian Loeb. Honda clinched the next three spots, with Monteiro, Gabriele Tarquini and Mehdi Bennani taking 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively. The rest of the qualifying Top 10 were all Chevrolets, driven (in order) by Tom Chilton, Tom Coronel, Morbidelli and Valente.

Citroen again ended Race 1 strongly, with Muller and Lopez getting 1-2, respectively, on the podium. Monteiro took the third step, but the third C-Elysee, driven by Loeb, crossed the finish line in 7th place due to a botched start.

“I was very pleased with car in the first race, as it was important for me to score as many points as possible here and at the previous round in France to compensate for the zero-score in the second race in Marrakech,” Muller said.

In terms of drivers’ championship rankings, Citroen’s Lopez, Muller and Loeb take the top three, followed by Monteiro in 4th, Tarquini in 5th and Valente in 6th. Places 7 and 8 go to Morbidelli and Chilton, respectively, while Bennani and Hungarian Norbert Michelisz wrap up the top 10.

For the manufacturers’ rankings, Citroen has a comfortable 99-point lead over second-placer Honda, while Lada takes the last spot with 112 points so far.